In California, home of Super Bowl 50, the top income tax rate (i.e., the one paid by people who make at least $1 million annually) is 13.3 percent, the highest in the nation.
According to Raiola, California collected more than $229 million in income tax from professional athletes in 2013. With this year’s Super Bowl — and with the Rams’ move to Los Angeles bringing even more out-of-state athletes into California — that number is sure to grow.
So how much will a player like, say, Cam Newton have to pay for playing in the Super Bowl? Because the Panthers lost, each player will receive a $51,000 bonus (the victorious Denver Broncos took home $102,000 each). According to Forbes that means Newton will pay $87,800 in taxes simply for playing in the Super Bowl, or 172.2 percent of his Super Bowl bonus. Add in the two games the Panthers play at the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Rams next season — four more days of work — and he’ll end up paying California $137,900 in taxes for 2016.
Newton will make more than $20 million in salary in 2016, plus millions more in endorsements. He’ll also probably get some sort of tax credit to at least partially offset the out-of-state tax from the state in which he resides. He’ll be fine.
Next year’s Super Bowl is in Houston. Texas does not have an income tax, and thus does not have a Jock Tax.